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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

24°

STRIPES ON HORSES

more graceful. Though Zebra markings are not usual upon jr.
calftllttSt there are plenty of examples of—what we may perhaps
in this ease term—a " reversion " to a striped state. The cele-
brated " Lord Morton's mare/'1 whose portrait hangs in the Hoyal
College of Surgeons, is an interesting case of this. It was as a
matter of fact thought to be an example of that rather doubtfully-
occurring phenomenon, " teiegony." Its history is briefly this.
The animal was the offspring of a mare that had previously pro-
duced to a male Quagga a hybrid foaL Afterwards a second foal
was produced by the same mare to an Arab sire. This foal, the
one in question, was striped, and hence was thought to be an
example of male prepotency. But instances are known of un-
questioned Horses which show the same stripes, such as a 2sTorway
pony which had not even seen a Zebra !
A last remnant of the naked palm of the hand and sole of the
foot is left in the shape of a small bare area, smaller in the Horse
than in the Asses, known technically as the " ergot," the term being
that of the French veterinarians. As already mentioned, the Horse
differs from the Asses and Zebras in the fact that the hind-limbs
have callosities on the inner side. They are known as " chestnuts/*
and their nature has been much disputed. It has been suggested
that they are the last rudiment of a vanished toe; but in all
probability they are, as already suggested, traces of glandular
structures, which are common upon, the limbs in many animals
(see above, p. 12).
It is a singular fact that there are apparently no wild Horses
of this species. The case is curiously analogous to that of the
Camel, which also is only known as feral or domesticated. "Why
the Horse should have become extinct as a wild animal, consider-
ing that when it does run wild it can thrive abundantly, is im-
possible to understand. Sir TV. Mower thinks 2 that " the nearest
approach to truly wild horses existing at present are the so-called
Tarpans, which occur in the Steppe country north of the sea of
Azov between the river Dnieper and the Caspian. They are
described as being of small size, dun colour, with short mane and
rounded oMuse nose." But he adds that there is no evidence to
prove whether they are really wild. In favour, however, of their
beang wild and indigenous European Horses, may be
See Ewart, The Pmtettik JSxpertments, Constable and Co., 1899,
s The Horse, London, 1890,